The act of reading is solitary, but it does not have to be isolating. Book discussions as part of a club, reading group or organization have a few benefits. Here, I will discuss the top three.
1. Getting Different Perspectives
Have you ever read a book, discussed it with someone, and have them raise a point that you had not considered? Whether we are reading for a class, or our own edification, there are things that even the most discerning reader can overlook. I have found in my experience that discussing a book with another person and bouncing perspectives off of one another has made me go back and read particular sections.
2. Strengthening Your Understanding
Discussion of a work will strengthen your understanding. This is related to the first point. The point of reading, is to gain something from a work, whether it is fictional or not. In a society that is at times working to keep us in the dark, it is important that we understand what we read.
3. Building Community
Flowing from the second point, is the prospect of building community around the discussion of a work. While many of us hated those group projects that we were all subject to in college, book discussions don’t have that dynamic. While some discussions can be contentious, it often shows that those who participate care deeply about the matters raised within the context of the discussion. That is important, considering that some will be motivated to action by the results of a shift in perspective.
In conclusion, there is much to be gained from book discussions. We should work to encourage them whenever we can. This is why shows like The Tea are important.
Thanks to Marc W. Polite for this weeks post!
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